By: Jessica Sage, Staff Counsel
Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley— a current Democrat candidate for the late Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat—strongly criticized the House health care bill for prohibiting federal funding of abortions. The Boston Globe reported her saying that “fighting for a women’s access to abortion was more important than passing the overall bill, despite its [other] aims.”
Apparently, AG Coakley is willing to compromise all for a women’s access to abortion—despite its inherent and realized harms to women. In her opinion, access to abortion trumps the possibility of health care reform, but more importantly constitutionally-protected speech. AG Coakley is the same AG who interpreted the Massachusetts Buffer Zone Law as criminalizing the mere presence of pro-life advocates around abortion clinics. In her interpretation of the Act and guidance to law enforcement, she unconstitutionally silences any expression of opposition to abortion within a 35-foot radius around “reproductive health care” facilities.
In relation to health care, Coakley says she will not compromise on abortion rights. She makes evident that nothing is of more importance to her than protecting mere access to abortion (as opposed to women’s health and safety). She criticizes fellow Democrats for not being principled on the issue of abortion, claiming that they are “selling one set of constitutional rights for another.”
What she seems to forget (or it simply does not bother her) is she willingly “sold” explicit First Amendment rights for the Court-declared abortion right. It is a good thing she is not expressing these views within 35 feet of an abortion clinic in MA, otherwise she would be handed a “go to jail “ card. But then again, she would not have to say a word. If she simply put on the abortion clinic’s volunteer vest and escorted women into the clinic for an abortion, the law exempts her and her viewpoint—actions speak louder than words.
AG Coakley makes very clear she will use her position and power to promote abortion at any price.